Coach Tries to Make Winner of Hapless Sudan Soccer Team

'I don't think about politics,' Brit says
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2009 1:35 PM CDT
Sudan's Mohamed Omer, right, steals the ball from Zambia's Billy Mwanza during a 2008 African Cup match in Kumasi, Ghana.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Stephen Constantine is known for tackling lost causes. He’s brought unexpected success to such hard-luck national soccer squads in India, Nepal and Malawi. “I seem to get the really tough jobs others don’t want,” he tells the Wall Street Journal. Now he’s got arguably his toughest yet: Sudan. The hapless Desert Hawks have managed just one African Cup appearance, and never qualified for the World Cup.

There’s also a rather large elephant in the room: the Darfur crisis. But Constantine says he doesn’t think about that. “I don’t give political issues a second thought because politics is a dirty business everywhere,” he says. “I’m only interested in getting Sudan to the next level.” So why does he keep getting stuck with such tough jobs? “It sounds corny, but I feel privileged making my living doing what I love—building football teams.”